Back to the Water - Shut Up and Make Something Nice

This short began as a music video for a local electronic artist. I had created demo footage for the video that involved two models, a tarp, and overlaying images of cities and nature. The style was entirely new to me and offered up all sorts of visual possibilities that I had never experienced before. It felt dynamic, soulful, and original. I was engaged and intoxicated by these images in a way that I hadn't ever been before. Only one problem existed. 

The artist didn't like it. 

We parted on good terms but I was left with footage that I loved but no home for it. This video needed music, but there wasn't very much music that actually fit the image style. Moreover, finding an artist willing to accept and promote a music video they didn't help conceive was going to be a hard sell. Even if I found said artist, would they (or their promoters) be willing to pay for something like this? I was looking for a perfect suitor in a very imperfect situation and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, I couldn't find a good fit. 

So I sulked. 

After four months of sitting on this footage that I loved so dearly, I hit creative rock-bottom. There were so many things I wanted for my weird art-child, but I was at a cross between art and commerce that was being compounded by the dissonance of time and perfection. I wanted my film completed now, I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to get paid for it. Sadly, it looked like I wasn't going to get any of those things. 

Luckily, real estate at rock-bottom comes with a great view of all of the things that never mattered in the first place. Why was I trying to get paid? I had gone this long without seeing a dime from the project and I was doing fine. Also, why does this have to be a music video? Just because this began as one doesn't mean it can't become something else. Slowly, the knots in my brain began to untie and new creativity began to seep in. 

I had an idea. 

I took the footage to a good friend of mine, Brandon Jordan, who writes music. He's somewhere near as weird as I am so I thought the images might be a good fit for him. He did not disappoint. The score he came up with about a month later was a beautiful, shifting, "Aguirre"-esque experience that gave the images an emotional undercurrent they never had before. This was no longer a music video, there were no verses to tell a story or beats to signal change. Instead, this was a strange experiment that, when completed, moved its two creators at the very least. 

And, in the end, that's all that ever mattered. The response to the video has been positive, with some very kind words coming from friends and complete strangers alike, but even a negative reaction would have been fine because we like it. It's our weird art baby and we love it. Isn't that why creative people do what they do, anyway? Forget all of the nonsense and make something you like. Believe me, you'll feel better in the end,